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Arctic Methane Threatens Environment December 5, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Methane.
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In a previous post, I told you about methane hydrates, chunks of methane buried under the ocean.  The issue there is that if the methane is mined the wrong way – if it is exposed to the open air – it will sublimate direct to a gas and accelerate global warming.

This week, NatureNews reported that methane being released into the atmosphere as the arctic tundra begins to freeze.  It seems that when the tundra melted this summer, microbes in the groung got active and built up pockets of methane in the ground.  Now that the ground is freezing, the surface is contracting and the methane is being released.

In other words, when the area warmed up more than normal this summer, more methane than normal was created.  And then when it froze, the methane was released.

All we need now is a way to capture and processes that methane into fuel!

Alternative energy from methane hydrates February 23, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Alternatives, Methane.
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I recently learned about methane hydrates, deposits rich in methane. Popular Mechanics reports that “Methane bound in hydrates could provide the world with an astounding amount of natural gas–if it could be safely extracted.”The article states that “100,000 to 300 million trillion cu. ft. (tcf) of methane exists globally in hydrate form–most of it in the ocean floor.” The trick is extracting it safely. If it’s not harvested properly, it will release into the atmosphere and speed up global warming.

The process needs Carbon Dioxide to make it work. And the best source of CO2 is from Fischer-Tropsch, which produces diesel from coal, with CO2 as a byproduct.

p.s. – Thanks to Doug Reitz, who wrote the blog about methane hydrates that introduced me to this potent new source of natural gas.

Potent new source of natural gas February 19, 2008

Posted by OldGuy in Methane.
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Doug Reitz wrote a blog about the use of about methane hydrates, deposits rich in methane, for energy independence.. Popular Mechanics reports that “Methane bound in hydrates could provide the world with an astounding amount of natural gas–if it could be safely extracted.”

The article states that “100,000 to 300 million trillion cu. ft. (tcf) of methane exists globally in hydrate form–most of it in the ocean floor.” The trick is extracting it safely. If it’s not harvested properly, it will release into the atmosphere and speed up global warming.The process needs carbon dioxide to force it out. Fortunately, that’s a byproduct of Fischer-Tropsch, and FT needs a place to store all that CO2. Between FT and Methane, we might be energy independent by the middle of the next decade.